Model of the 1953 Norfoll & Western #244

Model of the 1953 Norfoll & Western #244

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This is a model of the Norfolk and Western Railway’s No. 244, the last steam locomotive built for a mainline railroad in the United States. This model is part of the collection displayed in the museum’s Railroad Hall exhibit of 1964-2002 to illustrate the technological development of the locomotive.
While other lines were converting to diesel locomotives in the early 1950s, the Norfolk and Western Railway remained committed to steam. Unlike most railroads, the Norfolk and Western designed and constructed steam locomotives in-house. In addition, the company had ready access to locomotive fuel, as the railroad’s chief cargo was coal. Completed in 1953, the No. 244 was the last of forty-five identical locomotives constructed by the Norfolk and Western’s Roanoke Shops. These engines were built to a design produced by Baldwin Locomotive Works eighteen years earlier. In 1955, the Norfolk and Western began to replace its steam locomotive fleet with diesels. The 244 was scrapped in 1958.
Steam locomotives are often classified by wheel arrangement, in the order of leading, driving, and trailing wheels. This engine has no leading wheels, eight driving wheels, and no trailing wheels. It is therefore classified as a 0-8-0 locomotive. This type of engine was used for switching, or sorting cars in a railroad yard.
Currently on loan
Object Name
model, locomotive
date made
used date
Associated Place
United States: Virginia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Norfolk & Western Railway Company
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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